The Tent

 

Though officials took us in, their welcome was forced.

The meadow was dotted with makeshift dwellings which looked like heaven compared to what we’d endured to get here. Pa ruffled my hair, whispering that it was over. We were safe.

He was half right.

A woman with long, grey braids approached Pa, pointed to the edge of the meadow, patted his shoulder, and walked away. “What is it, Pa?” I followed his stare to a yellow tent.

“There’s not enough food here,” he pulled me close. “We’re in the lottery.”

”Are we staying in the yellow tent?”

“Let’s hope not.”

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

August 2, 2018 prompt: Yellow tent In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a yellow tent.

 

 

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Chaos in Black & White

 

We talk, words spinning around each other like flurries caught in a gust of wind.

Eventually, our thoughts drift down and settle on the ground in a blanket of confusion.

With an incredible vocal range, we sing a song of misunderstanding. High notes, encapsulated in love, float through the air. Low notes, heavy with meaning, cling to our faces and hair. They are a jumble of uncertainty.

His world, in black and white, frustrates me.

My world, in greens, yellows, and blues, frustrates him.

We never tried to understand.

Now we do.

Only to discover we are mutually colorblind.

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

February 1, 2018 prompt: Black and White In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features something black and white.

 

 

Self Care

 

She looked in the mirror at the woman she swore she would never become.

A soft, almost-youthful face with fine lines.

A handful of grey hairs hiding beneath dark blonde strands.

A pudgy middle pushing the waistband of her favorite pair of jeans.

The image irritated her. Angered her.

How had she become this…thing? This wife of a man who created her with perfectly weaved words of manipulation and cruelty then cheated on her for becoming his creation.

Time for some self-care.

She grabbed the prescription bottle, smiling for the first time in months, and dumped her husband’s heart medication.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 30, 2017 prompt: Self Care In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes self care.

 

 

Getting Busy on My First Date

 

His tie was blue. A nice enough color. The geometric design wasn’t all that unpleasant. A bit modern for my taste, but not obnoxious.

I suppose it could have been his shirt, with its burgundy basketweave pattern. But, if I’m honest, the whole thing blew up because of his pink paisley jacket.

I couldn’t tell if he was nice enough for me to look past his fashion faux pas.

When my sister asked how the date with her co-worker went, I shrugged, “I have no idea. His clothes were so loud, I couldn’t hear a word he said.”

 

 

Totally goofing this week with a ridiculous entry for:

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

September 7, 2017 prompt: BusyIn 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a busy character.

 

 

Dessert for One

 

“There’s nothing like an argument over dessert,” I flung a spoonful of whipped cream onto his cherry pie.

He stabbed a piece, shoved it in his mouth, and pointed the fork at me. “You started it.”

“Lovely. Now we’re twelve?”

He leaned back, arms crossed. “Go to hell.”

“Maybe,” I shrugged. “Maybe I’ll even see you there. But, for me, not today.”

“What’s that supposed to…” he grabbed his throat, glaring at me.

“Don’t worry, love,” I took a bite of my chocolate cake. “The choking won’t last long. Your heart will give out before it becomes too uncomfortable.”

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

July 20, 2017 prompt: Pie In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a pie.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Between #WritePhoto

 

 

He flies halfway between day and night.

His wings reach out, touch the rooftop of my home.

The silence outside me, the noise inside me…

I hear him.

Tomorrow, he tells me, will be softer. More forgiving. Wait.  

I believe him.

His message quiets my raging mind.

Delivered tenderly, I feel the force behind his words not to go gentle into this good night.

 

Feathered fingertips brush blue sky down into the pinks and purples of evening.

I will live to see him, this paintbrush of the Gods, bring the periwinkle light of sunrise up into sapphire skies.

 

 

 

My #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

writephoto-logo

 

I offer this as a beacon of hope for the 99-word challenge at Carrot Ranch this week.

In 99 words (no more, no less) write about a beacon. It can be from a lighthouse or other source. Use the word literally or figuratively and go where the prompt leads you.

 

 

Worn

 

My teacher slaps my desk. I jump.

Students keep their heads down. I’m glad for this.

He asks me a question. Tells me it’s the second time he’s asked. That I’m not paying attention.

He’s right. I’m not. At least not to this lesson. I’ve been staring at his robe.

The edges are frayed.

Teachers are respected in The Society. They wear the robes of the higher classes. Dark blue. Tailored. Immaculate.

He sees me eyeing his sleeve and yanks his hand away. Something is wrong. I make a mental note to look at the other teachers after lessons.

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

June 29, 2017 prompt: Frayed In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something frayed. It could be fabric, like a flag or garment. It could also be nerves or temper.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Dawn Arrives #WritePhoto

 

 

They have left me here.

Night settles and I am alone. Dawn is far away. But I will wait.

I am dying. My blood is ink, spilling onto the midnight soil, mingling with darkness and mist. I will hold on. I will make it through the night.

To see just one last time…

“Aaron,” she breathes. Her lips brush my forehead. “Gods. No.”

She is crouching next to me. I lift my arm and she grasps my fingers, ignoring the dry, crusted blood caked on my palm and the slick, new blood running down my arm. “Dawn,” I sigh.

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts again this week:

#writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent which asks writers to use photos for inspiration (the photo above is this week’s prompt)

 

writephoto-logo

 

and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Dawn).

June 15, 2017 prompt: Dawn In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that symbolically, mythically, mystically, or realistically involves dawn, as a noun or verb. Write about the dawn of time or the time of dawn, or the dawning of an idea.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Hope Doesn’t Knock #WritePhoto

 

 

They say we should have hope.

Yet they take away everything that might make us feel hopeful. People seem content. I don’t understand.

One morning, after breakfast, I ask my father. He sits with me. Takes a breath. I think he is going to speak but he ruffles my hair. Tells me to enjoy my day. His eyes flick to the doorway.

I turn and notice my mother, watching us, wiping her hands on a dishtowel.

This is my cue to leave. When the door shuts, I see an ornament on the wood. This is not good for our family.

 

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts again this week:

#writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent which asks writers to use photos for inspiration (the photo above is this week’s prompt)

 

writephoto-logo

 

and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Content).

June 1, 2017 prompt: Content In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story write about feeling content.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

Cerambycidae

 

 

I feel them crawl over my skin before I see them.

Looking up, I notice hundreds of insects skitter across my floor, up the walls. They are everywhere. I want to scream. To call for help. But I don’t.

I study one on my left arm and become entranced with its bright, colored spots and antennae.

I have a memory of school where I learned about this species. The common name, ‘longhorn beetle’, fits well as the antennae extend past the end of their bodies. It’s fascinating. I lean in for a closer look but see only my bare arm.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

May 25, 2017 prompt: Longhorn In 99 words (no more, no less) that includes a longhorn. You can go with any of its meanings or make it a name of a person or organization. Cheese or cattle, technology or place, what can you create from the western icon?

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig